October 1999

Marjorie and Kenneth Eckhert

by Joseph H. RADDER

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Dr. Kenneth H. Eckhert, Sr. and his wife Marjorie were honored by the Red Cross Buffalo Chapter. The former music room in the Clement Mansion was designated the Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth H. Eckhert, Sr. Boardroom.

During Dr. Eckhert’s 40-plus year involvement with the Red Cross, he has guided the chapter through significant changes and advancements in health education, emergency services and blood operations. A highly respected surgeon, his relationship with the chapter began in 1958 as a member of the Blood Program Advisory Committee. Since those early years Dr. Eckhert has held numerous Red Cross leadership posts, ensuring a strong and effective Red Cross in the Greater Buffalo community.
Elected to the board of directors in 1960, he served as vice chair and was elected chapter chair from 1970 to 1973. During the Vietnam War he was instrumental in stepping up the chapter’s services to the military—especially communication between those serving overseas and their families. Since that time Dr. Eckhert has continued to serve on task forces and committees, seeing to it that the programs offered by the chapter meet the changing needs of society.

In November 1995 he was honored as Red Cross Philanthropist of the Year during National Philanthropy Day ceremonies at the Statler Ballroom. The recipient of the 1997 Clara Barton Volunteer of the Year Award, the Red Cross was again proud to join with distinguished friends, family and colleagues to pay tribute to Dr. Eckhert’s accomplished service. A highlight of the evening was Marjorie Eckhert’s being named a Clement Trustee. She joins the other trustees, including Dr. Eckhert, whose job it is to safeguard the mansion. Together with her husband, Mrs. Eckhert raised five children and has been involved in numerous community organizations while being supportive of the Greater Buffalo Chapter and its programs.

There will be a formal rededication of the Clement Mansion this month to kick off the public phase of the capital campaign “Building a Future, Grounded in Trust.” More than $3 million of the $4.5 million goal has been raised. Recently $1.5 million was utilized to renovate the Clement Mansion, which serves as the headquarters for the Greater Buffalo Chapter’s 2,000 volunteers and paid staff.

The Greater Buffalo Chapter of the American Red Cross prepares for, and responds to, community disasters and emergencies and helps people lead safe and healthy lives. The American red Cross is one of the oldest and largest volunteer driven organizations in the United States. Locally it depends on the contributions of 2,000 volunteers to provide for its emergency service and health education programs.

Joseph H. Radder is a freelance writer.


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